Fighting arts have existed since the beginning of man's need to fight, whether in defense, survival, or war. Fighting arts are concerned with one idea only, the defeat of the enemy. However, legend has it that this began to change when Bodhidharma, a Buddhist monk, traveled from India to China in the sixth century to teach his religion to the Chinese. Traveling throughout China, he found that the monks were in such poor physical condition that they could not perform meditation properly, so he taught them a series of physical exercises to strengthen their bodies and mental exercises to develop their minds. As a member of the Kshatriya, India's warrior class, Bodhidharma knew the fighting art of Vajramushti. From this art, most scholars believe he developed the physical exercises first known as Shih Pa Lo Han Sho, meaning "eighteen hands of an enlightened man," later known as Chuan Fa, or "fist law" (Kempo).
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